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    3 Things We Learnt From This Weekend's Football

    3 Things We Learnt From This Weekend's Football

    Klopp Needs Time

    Sunday's loss to arch rivals Man United has highlighted now more than ever that Klopp will need a summer or two to get this Liverpool team ticking again. The game could have easily been a different story, had it not been for David De Gea (How many times have we said that).  But despite De Gea's brilliance Liverpool are lacking in the forward areas, we have seen glimpses of what Firmino is capable of, but apart from the Brazilian playmaker Liverpool seem very bare up top.  Benteke was the supposed answer to the same problems from last season, however it just hasn't been his season so far as he doesn't realistically fit into Klopp's style of play, it seems Klopp will look past the big Belgian to be the top man at Anfield next season.
    Liverpool need defensive reinforcements, despite Kolo Toure and Mamadhou Sakho's mostly solid game against United, long term injuries to Joe Gomez, Martin Skrtl and Dejan Lovren have left Liverpool bare at the back. Even so, Liverpool fans will be crying out for a world class centre half in the summer. Klopp will undoubtedly have names lined up but I'm sure hearing names such as Diego Godin or Matts Hummels would get Liverpool fans hitting the roof, unfortunately it looks like Steven Caulker will have to do, for now.

    Man City favourites for the title

    Some may disagree with this, but this weekend showed why the titles in City's hands. After a thumping victory over a respectable Palace side, Pellegrini's men are now unbeaten in 5 league games with the leagues best goal difference. Moreover, City know how to win the league, something that served United well so many times over the years. As well as having one the wisest heads in the game with Pelligirni as coach, who seems to escape praise a lot of the time, they simply have the best squad in the league. They made 5 changes for the match at the Etihad on Saturday, by god it didn't show. Fernando & Delph seemed to compliment one another well in the centre of the park, despite being the 3rd and 4th central midfield options, whilst youngster Kelechi Iheanacho showed glimpses of promise throughout the first half. 
    City's summer recruitment is another telling reason why they will be the front runners for the title in May. De Bruyne has injected even more class into City's midfield since September, whilst Sterling and Otamendi have consistently justified their rather hefty their price tags. In comparison to Arsenals sole signing of Petr Cech, there is a clear winner from last summer's window.

    Newcastle and Sunderland showing signs of survival

    Premiership football has been rather bleak up in the north east over the past few seasons, with the Tyne-Wear teams narrowly avoiding the drop on several occasions. At christmas it would have been a safe bet to back them both to go down by the end of February, however both teams are showing glimpses of fight.
    It may seem bizarre complimenting a teams recent form on the back of a 1-4 hammering, but Sunderland have improved a lot of with Big Sam at the helm. Despite the score line, Sunderland were well in the game at half time with the scores level at 1-1, and had it not been for a couple of suspect substitutions from Allardyce before the hour mark, it could have been a different story. Sunderland were on back-to-back wins in the league before Saturday, and with a striker as deadly as Defoe, they have a genuine match winner for the rest of the season, something fellow relegation candidates do not have. 
    Times ahead look promising for the Toon Army after a great week against two top 6 teams in Man United and West Ham. The West Ham result was somewhat more surprising than the thriller on Wednesday. Many people, including myself, were sitting waiting for Jeff Stelling to notify us of a West Ham equaliser, but instead Newcastle not only defended bravely, but attacked the Hammers. With 15 attempts on goal in the second half alone for Newcastle, triple that of West Ham, it showed their relegation rivals that they mean business.
    Despite the positive signs, McLaren is going to have to look at strengthening his squad this month month, the capture of England international Jonjo Shelvey already looks to have boosted the squad. Whilst Allardyce will look at a new face or two for his defence, already shown by his acquisition of German centre half, Jan Kirchhoff. Despite these early deals, both squads will need more if they are to remain in the league for next season.

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    Item Reviewed: 3 Things We Learnt From This Weekend's Football Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ruairi dennehy
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